CHAOS AND ORDER: Holotropic Breathwork® and Zen

BergZendo Hohe Wand, Austria (26. November - 1. December 2024)

Für die Deutschsprachige Version bitte ganz nach unten scrollen

The Zendo

This five-day retreat offers a unique opportunity for inner work and self-exploration. Each day you will engage in two powerful practices that complement each other perfectly: The mornings we dedicate to guided Zazen and Kinhin, the traditional Zen forms of walking and sitting mediation. In the afternoons, one of four Holotropic Breathwork® sessions will take place.

During the workshop, you can explore the depths of your psyche by doing Zazen and Holotropic Breathwork®, a technique developed by Christina Grof and Dr. Stanislav Grof, carried on by Tav Sparks and numerous facilitators worldwide. This well-defined, substance-free protocol builds on Stan Grof's clinical experience with psychedelic therapy and uses breathing, assistive bodywork, and evocative music in a non-directive group setting to access deeper, non-ordinary states of awareness and consciousness. The safe space encourages participants to surrender to their inner processes and the guidance of their inner healer to explore their inner world.

The Holotropic Breathwork® experience of non-ordinary states of consciousness is complemented by traditional Zen mediation each morning. This simple yet profound form of meditation has been practiced for centuries in Zen Buddhism to cultivate self-awareness, peace, and presence. The practice involves Zazen, that is sitting upright and focusing on the breath, alternating with indoors and outdoors Kinhin, a form of walking meditation, chanting. Participants will learn posture, breathing, and how to sit, let go of distracting thoughts and emotions, and have the possibility for individual consultations with the teacher. 

In evening sharing circles, participants share their experiences in a safe space and integrate their experiences in both practices.

This approximate module/sesshin-length retreat offers a nurturing and supportive environment for anyone seeking personal growth and transformation. It includes four breathwork sessions, experienced two times as a breather and two times as a sitter by each participant, and - optional - up to 26 sits in Zazen. Whether you are dealing with past traumas, seeking greater self-awareness, or looking to deepen your spiritual practice, this workshop may help you on your journey to overcome blockades and establish a practice for integration.

The workshop will take place at Bodhidarma BergZendo Hohe Wand, a peaceful and serene location with beautiful views in an old mountain inn above the cliff of Hohe Wand, a nature park near Vienna. The Zazen practice is led by the abbot of the BergZendo, Seigaku Kigen Oshō, an experienced Zen practitioner and teacher in the lineage of Tathagata Zen in the Rinzai tradition, ordained in 1991. Kigen Oshō has studied in Zen monasteries in Japan, Europe, and the United States. The Holotropic Breathwork® is guided by certified, experienced facilitators. 

No prior experience with Zen or Holotropic Breathwork® is required. The alternating practice of the complementary techniques opens up the possibility for advanced practitioners of both practices to overcome blockages and develop further with each visit.

Zen is considered as philosophy, applied psychology and spiritual practice; this workshop is neutral to religious beliefs.

The workshop is held partly in German and in English, translation is provided.

Registration: Please fill out the linked registration and medical form
If you have any questions, please send us an E-Mail to


Earlybird workshop fee until 1st of November 480 €

Full workshop fee 520 €

If you feel strongly drawn to this workshop but are in a situation where financial constraints make it impossible for you to participate, please email us. We will then contact you by phone and try to find a solution together.

Full board accommodation for the whole workshop:

Double/Twin room: 370 €

Single room: 420 €

Additional Dana for the Zen teacher is welcome.

      Cancellation and Refund Policies

      The cancellation fee is € 100,- any time you cancel the workshop.

      If you cancel up to 15 days before the workshop starts, the workshop fees and accommodation costs will be refunded minus a € 100 cancellation fee.

      If participation is canceled 15 days before the start or later, the workshop fees, minus the € 100 cancellation fee, will be credited for participation in future workshops organized by us for 4 years.

      If we need to cancel the workshop for any reason, all fees paid will be fully refunded. 

      The composition of the workshop team may change and is not a reason for cancellation.


      Peter Rantaša (Organizer)

      Holotropic Breathwork® Facilitator, Philosopher of Cognitive Science and Psychological Counselor (in training), Business Coach, and Management Consultant. Peter lives in Vienna, Austria, with his wife, three children, and a dog.

      Peter has been devoted to exploring techniques and practices for healing and cultivating the mind and soul for over three decades.

      Initially trained as an engineer in biomedical technology, Peter's journey began with working with socially vulnerable children and persons with particular mental abilities and needs. Resonating with the countless possibilities of experiencing life, he moved into the professional arts to experiment with extended states of consciousness through mind machines and floating tanks, which he embedded in his works as a sound artist.

      Curiosity, wonder, and the continuous search for beauty, truth, and meaning led him to study and graduate in philosophy and cognitive science. He continues his philosophical work by exploring the relations and interactions of the psyche (greek for mind and soul) and techne (Greek for art or craft) in self-healing and self-cultivation.

      After a fulfilling career as an international cultural manager who traveled worldwide, Peter settled as the administrative director of a cognitive science research unit at the University of Vienna. He is also a self-employed business coach and management consultant.

      In 2023, after seven years of practice and training in Holotropic Breathwork®, Peter has overcome a spiritual emergency by addressing multiple deeply buried traumatic experiences, learned to cope with neurodiversity, and finally became a certified Holotropic Breathwork® facilitator. In 2019, he began practicing Zen to continue his spiritual development. In addition, he undergoes multi-annual training for Psychological Counseling that provides him the methodological toolset from various psychotherapeutic traditions for integrating the holotropic experience into daily life.

      Peter is passionate about supporting participants in Holotropic Breathwork® workshops in finding trust in their processes and inner healers by providing a nurturing, inspiring environment and holding the space for their path toward self-discovery, healing, and growth. He is available as a facilitator for workshop organizers and offers events in the context of Arts and Meditation.

      Seigaku Kigen Oshō, Zen Teacher

      William Ekeson began studying Zen Buddhism at the Cambridge Buddhist Association, a center co-founded by Shin’ichi Hisamatsu and D.T. Suzuki in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He started practicing koans under Myo-on Maurine Stuart Rōshi in 1987.

      A year later, he settled as a resident Tathagata Zen practitioner at the Rinzai-ji Temple in Los Angeles and underwent formal koan study under Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Rōshi. This Japanese Zen master was known for his uncompromising approach to practice and was one of the few masters of the Tathagata Zen tradition to teach in the West.

      In 1990, Kigen moved to the Mount Baldy Zen Center and was ordained as a monk.

      After nine years of training at Mt. Baldy, Kigen was appointed Oshō and assigned to return to the Rinzai-ji temple in Los Angeles as vice abbot and teacher. Rinzai-ji is the main temple of the Tathagata Rinzai Zen lineage, which was brought to the United States by Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Rōshi.

      Four years later, Kigen founded the Hollywood Zen Center to meet the needs of Zen practitioners in the Hollywood area.

      In 2010, the founder and abbot of Bodhidharma Zendo, Seiun Genro Oshō, passed away. Seigaku Kigen Oshō was invited to work as a Zen teacher in March 2012. In this role, he leads meditations, gives Dharma talks, and offers his students guidance in practicing Zen. Seigaku Kigen Oshō has been abbot of the Rinzai-ji Order Austria since November 2019.

      Dieses fünftägige Retreat bietet eine besondere Gelegenheit für intensive innere Arbeit und Selbsterforschung. Jeden Tag beschäftigen wir uns mit zwei kraftvollen Praktiken, die einander perfekt ergänzen: Die Vormittage widmen wir angeleitetem Zazen und Kinhin, den traditionellen Zen-Formen der Geh- und Sitzmeditation. Nachmittags findet jeweils eine von vier Holotropic Breathwork®-Sitzungen statt.

      In diesem Workshop hast Du die Möglichkeit, die Tiefen Deiner Psyche mit Hilfe von Zazen und Holotropem Atmen® erforschen, einer Technik, die von Christina Grof und Dr. Stanislav Grof entwickelt wurde und von Tav Sparks und zahlreichen Vermittlern weltweit weitergeführt wird. Dieses klar definierte, ohne Substanzen arbeitende Protokoll baut auf Stan Grofs klinischer Erfahrung mit psychedelischer Therapie in Traumatherapie auf und nutzt Atmung, unterstützende Körperarbeit und evokative Musik in einem nicht-direktiven Gruppensetting, um tiefere, nicht-alltägliche Bewusstseinszustände zu erreichen. Das sichere Setting ermutigt die Teilnehmer, sich zu öffnen, sich ihren inneren Prozessen und der Führung ihres inneren Heilers anzuvertrauen.

      Die Erfahrung des Holotropen Atmens® mit nicht-alltäglichen Bewusstseinszuständen wird jeden Vormittag durch traditionelle Zen-Mediation ergänzt. Diese einfache und tiefe Form der Meditation wird seit Jahrhunderten im Zen-Buddhismus praktiziert, um Selbsterkenntnis, Frieden und Präsenz zu kultivieren. Die Praxis umfasst Zazen, d. h. aufrechtes Sitzen und Konzentration auf den Atem, im Wechsel mit Kinhin, einer Gehmeditation im Freien oder im Zendo, und Rezitation. Die Teilnehmer*innen erlernen Haltung, Atmung und Sitztechniken des Zazen und Kinhin, lassen ablenkende Gedanken und Emotionen los und haben die Möglichkeit zu Einzelgesprächen mit dem Lehrer.

      In abendlichen Gesprächsrunden tauschen die Teilnehmer*innen ihre Erfahrungen im geschützten Raum der Gruppe aus und integrieren die beiden Praktiken.

      Die Dauer des Retreats, vergleichbar mit der eines Ausbildungsmoduls/Sesshins, erlaubt ein tiefes eintauchen in den Prozess. Es bietet eine unterstützende Umgebung für alle, die persönliches Wachstum und Transformation suchen. Die Praxis umfasst vier Atemsitzungen, je zwei Mal als Atmer*in und zwei Mal als Sitter*in, sowie - optional - bis zu 26 Perioden Zazen.

      Der Workshop findet im Bodhidarma BergZendo Hohe Wand in einem früheren Berggasthaus statt, einem friedlichen und ruhigen Ort mit wunderschöner Aussicht in einem Naturpark in der Nähe von Wien. Die Zazen-Praxis wird vom Abt des BergZendo, Seigaku Kigen Oshō, geleitet, einem erfahrenen Zen-Praktizierenden und Lehrer in der Linie des Tathagata-Zen in der Rinzai-Tradition. Das Holotrope Atmen® wird von zertifizierten, Holotropic Breathwork® Facilitaors begleitet.

      Es sind keine Vorerfahrungen in Zen oder Holotropem Atmen® erforderlich. Die abwechselnde Praxis der einander ergänzenden Techniken eröffnet Fortgeschrittenen beider Praktiken Richtungen die Möglichkeit, Blockaden in ihren Prozessen zu überwinden und sich mit jedem Besuch weiterzuentwickeln.

      Zen wird als Philosophie, angewandte Psychologie und spirituelle Praxis verstanden; der Workshop ist hinsichtlich Religion neutral.

      Der Workshop wird in deutscher und englischer Sprache gehalten, für Übersetzung ist gesorgt.